Posted by: pastortomvabeach | October 13, 2015

Thought For The Week October 18, 2015

Last week I mentioned what Pastor Scott Wilson had said about the measure of success being faithfulness. Another thing he talked about was the extremely vital role of prayer as the key to really being a healthy church and growing. This hit home for me since I’ve been thinking that the only way we will begin to really impact this community and ultimately the world is if we actively and fervently obey the Lord’s urgent call found in II Chronicles 7:14: if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

This verse is a prescription, if you will, for revival and renewal. It is preceded by Solomon’s lengthy prayer where several times he asks the Lord to not forget His people if they rebel, turn away, or forget Him. Each time, he says something like, “If your people sin against you and later repent and ask for your help, please listen and bring them back into your protective care.” The above verse is God’s answer. In verse 13, He says if I bring judgment on Israel (because they have sinned), here’s what they need to do, if My people…will humble themselves, and pray, etc.

Friends, we live in an era when so many have forgotten God, so many have rebelled against His commands, and so many have outright rejected His love and offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. We live in a time when Christian lifestyles, in many cases, are no different than those of non-believers. Many who consider themselves followers of Jesus do more than dabble in sinful practices and neglect the growth of their souls and intimacy with their Savior.

Statistics reveal that the most “regular” members of most churches attend Sunday services an average of twice a month and studies show that very few believers who call themselves committed know much more about God’s Word than they hear on the Sundays they are present. When asked in surveys over 40% (more than 130 million) people in the U.S. claim to be born again and say the Bible is the Word of God. How can that many people have a real living relationship with Jesus and not have more impact on our society than we do?

May I suggest that we may have forgotten what it means to be in living relationship with Jesus, to abide in the vine (John 15), to walk in the light as He is in the light (I John 1), and we may have left our first love (Revelation 2)? We desperately need to fall madly in love with Jesus again so that His presence stirs our passions and prompts us moment by moment to not only live as His holy children but also represent Him to the lost and clueless world around us.

If that is going to happen, according to II Chronicles 7:14, we need to take a long look at ourselves, admit our failure, sin, inaction, and turn to God in prayer really seeking His face. Scott Wilson says this key is mostly corporate prayer, meaning the whole church praying together and as individuals. One or two may revive themselves but if we’re to revive the church, we all need to buy in to this.

We need to repent of our sins (turn from their wicked ways). It is not unbelievers’ fault that society is going away from God. They don’t have the Lord. It is our fault. As we have compromised and allowed sin like a camel’s nose to get under the tent, we have offered less and less restraint on the overall life of our communities. Beloved, in many of our lives, the camel is all the way in the tent. We need to be honest and call sin what it is – sin, and repent.

We have set aside January 2016 as a month of prayer designed to turn us, as the leaders back to the Lord, and to urge the entire church to turn from whatever dilutes intimacy with Christ and seek revival. We don’t know what that will look like when it hits, but we want it desperately. Will you join me now and begin to ask the Lord to turn us again, to awaken His church, to reveal our sins, and to begin the heal our land? If we’ll do this together, we can be part of something really big. When God shows up you can bet it will be big! Just a thought.

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